Twenty-two states are calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to rescind its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers in light of how vaccines provide little to no protection against infection and the growing awareness of side effects from the shots.
The mandate (IFR) was announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) at the behest of Biden in the fall of 2021. The stated goal was to lower the number of infections and to prevent prospective patients from being afraid of unvaccinated workers.
Evidence available at the time, and evidence that has emerged since, “demonstrates that full vaccination doesn’t prevent infection or transmission,” the 22 attorneys general, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, told Chiquita Brooks LaSure, head of the centers, and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra in a Nov. 17 missive.
Delta has since been replaced by Omicron, a milder COVID-19 variant against which vaccines have performed considerably worse, including against severe illness, the officials noted. Breakthrough infections, or infections despite vaccination, have become increasingly common. And there’s a growing awareness of the side effects linked to the vaccines, including heart inflammation.
“Yet the outdated emergency IFR remains in force,” they said.
The attorneys general said the mandate “modestly reduced patients’ risk of contracting COVID” but intensified staffing shortages and limited patients’ access to medical care, and should be rescinded now.
CMS and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, did not respond to requests for comment.
“The mandate has limited many patients’ access to needed medical care and imposed substantial costs on patients and health care workers without any corresponding benefits. The Biden administration should have never imposed this mandate, and CMS should now throw it in the trash bin where it belongs,” Knudsen, a Republican, said in a statement.
The Supreme Court in January blocked a different mandate, for all private employers with 100 or more workers, but said health officials had the authority to impose the health care worker mandate.
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